Victor Burduk, the head of the Donetsk department of the Union of Masters of Blacksmiths Art in Ukraine

Виктор Иванович Бурдук

Why have we chosen him? Because he is an author of the Donetsk Forged Figures Park project, an initiator of annual blacksmiths art festivals and a wonderful blacksmith.

The Forged Figures Park was established in 2001 at the suggestion and according to the project of Victor Burduk. At the beginning there were only ten figures in the park. There are some alleys and 64 sculptures in the park now. For example, the Fairy Tales Alley with the Roly-Poly, the Buzzy Fly, the Genie, and dwarfs.
At least one figure of each new alley is forged by Victor Burduk personally. Thus, he made the Woodman with a desired heart in his hand for the Fairy Tales Alley and the Scorpio sculpture for the Zodiac Signs Alley.

The Park is a place for holidays. Children from all the city districts like playing here and it is the place of interest for all the wedding processions. It is comfortable and fine here. There is no such place in Europe.

Donetsk blacksmithing peculiarity is its once broken tradition. Western Ukraine succeeded to save its secrets of blacksmithing thanks to its old European neighbors. As for Donetsk there were only industrial forges at the beginning of the 1990s. Art works were made rarely, secretly and privately. Actually, starting from a global city scratch Victor Burduk has been reviving traditions, developing new technologies, studying abroad and teaching others for more than 15 years.

The participation in the Millennium World Exhibition in Hannover in 2000 became his triumph. Germany and all the participants of that exhibition were deeply impressed with the Tree of Life pavilion that is in the Donetsk Park now. They touched the rind of the forged Tree, looked at it from far away, touched again and couldn’t believe that the master could have made it by his hand.

Victor Burduk spent his working days outside the forge. He is a director of the Gefest blacksmiths enterprise now. He doesn’t have a lot of time to take a hammer and forceps in his hands but his fingers itch to do it. He is glad at each possibility to work with metal. Therefore, there are people working at his enterprise who he can be proud with. For example, Yevgeniy Yermak, the twice champion of the Ukrainian blacksmiths all-round events championship.

Curiously enough, he can have rest, a real rest, only in the forge. And also at the festivals in Czech castles, Holland forges, at his colleagues’ in Ivano-Frankovsk, Russia and Belarus.

Enver Izmailov performed music at the last festival of blacksmiths art in Donetsk and now he is ready to come here each autumn to visit next ones. There are negotiations under way concerning naming Enver Izmailov a music and jazz totem of Donetsk blacksmiths festivals.

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